HDR to design $120-million U of O Heart Institute expansion

An architecture firm with a local presence has been hired to design the $120-million expansion of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

HDR Architecture was named the lead architect to design the new building that will be added onto Canada’s largest cardiovascular centre with construction expected to begin in the fall of 2014, according to a statement released Friday.

The release did not disclose the value of the contract awarded to HDR, which is headquartered in Omaha, Neb. but has an Ottawa office with 13 employees, three of which are architects. The Ottawa office is one of nine across the country, with more than 200 employees total in Canada.

“We know that the design of cardiac centres is very different than that of a ‘typical’ hospital,” stated Ingrid Felso, HDR’s managing principal in Ottawa.

“We also know that, when designed well, these spaces can aid in the healing process, enhance research, increase knowledge and translate discoveries – even prevent people from becoming unhealthy in the first place. We look forward to playing a part in this process.”

HDR also provides engineering and consulting services, with more than 8,000 professionals in 190 locations worldwide.

The local branch is currently working on Communications Security Establishment Canada’s Long-Term Accommodation Project on Ogilvie Road, with work including architecture, engineering and interior design listed on the project database of HDR’s website.

The University of Ottawa Health Institute is a bilingual academic health centre offering cardiovascular services to over 1.2 million residents in eastern Ontario, western Quebec and Nunavut.

The expansion to its facilities will include 185,540 square feet of additional space that will accommodate 15 to 20 new researchers and 75 to 100 additional staff and students, according to a fact sheet and strategic plan published by the heart institute. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2017.